2020 Studio Art Student Awards

Salem State University

This exhibition highlights the exceptional talent and work of students in Art + Design who have distinguished themselves by surpassing the expectations of the faculty.

Morgan Petitpas

Morgan Petitpas

Presidential Creativity Award, Winfisky Art Award

Recognizing her outstanding creative endeavors, exceptional and energetic service to her major and the promotion of the visual arts within the Salem State University community, Art + Design faculty selected Morgan Petitpas (Class of 2019) to recieve the two highest awards – the Presidential Creativity Award and the Winfisky Art Award.

Morgan Petitpas is a sculptural artist primarily working in assemblage. Her work explores themes such as sensuality, rebirth, and the unconscious mind through a filter of whimsical mystery. Petitpas believes there is beauty in bizarre, common, and discarded objects and it is her job to extract it. The use of preexisting objects and images allows her work to form gradually and unexpectedly through strings of connections.

Petitpas was born in New Orleans, LA, raised in Ipswich, MA, and graduated from Salem State University in December 2019.

Sophie Cawlina

Sophie Cawlina

Certificate of Excellence: Printmaking

Growing up with an artistic family, I was constantly gluing stuff together or covering my dog with glitter and pom-poms. Since I started drawing, I have always been captivated by faces and the elements that compose expressions. It is something that I always try to capture in my work. I’m drawn to all the details in faces and creating portraits that have stories behind them. I challenged myself in this series to capture expressions, but without the many distinctive details that they’re composed of. Instead, I attempted to tell a story with a simple image; no story is right or wrong. All I’d like it the viewer to look at my prints and create a storyline that’s unique to them.

Rianna Lindsey

Rianna Lindsey

Certificate of Excellence: Painting

Rianna Lindsey is an artist working in a variety of of media from small scale watercolors to large scale acrylic paintings. Her main focus is figures with some exploration into abstract expressionism. She draws influence from many varying things like her experience in performance art to the renaissance art movement. Her most recent accomplishments include winning an award at the queer arts festival, as well as a Certificate of Excellence from Salem State University’s art department. 

Thomas Donaghy

Thomas Donaghy

Certificate of Excellence: Photography

Thomas Donaghy is an American photography student born and raised on the North Shore of Boston. Tom started pursuing photography five years ago as a form of artistic fulfillment, leading him to study at Salem State University. His influences include: Robert Frank, Georgia O’Keeffe, Walker Evans and Robert Flick. Tom’s work stands out for its composition and has been called “consistently quiet.” In his latest series “Preserving Private Nostalgia,” the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway is the backdrop for a commentary on private property and nostalgia. The views from private and public property show a selective way of experiencing nature, similarly to how nostalgia influences what we remember.

Michael Berard

Michael Berard

Certificate of Excellence: Photography

Emmy Waldsmith

Emmy Waldsmith

Certificate of Excellence: Photography

Emmy Waldsmith is a Senior at Salem State University set to graduate in May 2020. They have been academically been studying photography since they were 14. Through their studies in university they discovered a love for studio portraiture. They love to create worlds in their images and evoke emotions through their use of models. They have shifted their focus to the human form, using color and high contrast in order to achieve a less than Earthly creation. While their images may be off putting or intense, they hope that anyone who views them will find a kind of beauty within the images that they would not have seen before. When not making art, they spend their time nurturing a slew of plants, selling Bonsai, and practicing painting.

Anthony Arsenault

Anthony Arsenault

Certificate of Excellence: Painting

My love of art has been a constant throughout my forty plus years as a person and a parent. I remember being six years old sitting in my T.V. room watching Bob Ross paint and tell me that anyone could do it. It was some of the few times in my youth that I felt at peace, and knew that art had to be part of my future. I was always afraid of paint. I was scared that I would somehow ruin the blank canvas in front of me. I remember planning out a painting so painstakingly that I sat with my hand hovering over my blank canvas with analysis paralysis until my art instructor walked over and pushed my hand down so the paint hit the canvas randomly. This was the push I needed to now jump into my paintings’ feet first and get moving. When I paint, I feel free and at peace, it’s just me and the painting. This is a feeling I have decided I cannot live without. Painting has become my life and my peace. I love it all from realistic watercolors to gouache illustrations to thick acrylic abstracts. I love digital art as well, but, for me, the feeling of not having CTR+Z gives me the thrill and excitement that cannot be matched. Letting the natural paint drip on the canvas creates elements that no digital platform can mimic helps me evolve my paintings in ways that hundreds of hours of planning couldn’t do service to. Paint is my love and my peace, and my want for the future is to be able to share my love and teach what I have learned to others.

Geech Huot

Geech Huot

Certificate of Excellence: Printmaking

Geech Hor Huot was born and raised in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. She has a Family of four: her father, her mother and a younger brother. She went to Zaman International school for her 12 years where she received her education both in English and Khmer. Currently, she is a finance major at Salem State University. Growing up, Geech always has a great interest in art and music growing up so she participated in a lot of event planning and activities in school-raise money with art for charities, music concerts, conferences, fairs…etc. Geech also won plenty of awards in most of the art competitions throughout middle school and high school, both internationally and domestically. Her first art competition was in Seventh grade where she won first place in freestyle art expression, following with a silver medal in GENIUS Olympiad in Poster design back in 10th grade. In her sophomore year of college, she also joined Earth day art competition and won as well. Geech finds art as a great source of self-understanding and an outlet to relieve her emotions.

“Sometimes we cannot speak everything on our mind then that’s when art becomes my voice” -Geech Hor Huot 

Sam Stickney

Sam Stickney

Certificate of Excellence: Printmaking

My name is Sam Stickney, and I am pursuing a BA at Salem State University. My field of study is a double art concentration in Printmaking and Art History, with an additional major in French, and a Certification in Translation. I primarily work with printmaking, ink drawing, and photography. However, overall the artistic inspiration behind each of my pieces is to understand the world around me so that I may illustrate it for others.

Casey Jones

Casey Jones

Certificate of Excellence: Printmaking

Casey Jones is a small town artists who is originally from Townsend, Massachusetts that came to Salem State University with hopes to expand her knowledge on the world around her. When it comes to printmaking, Casey prefers to work with screen printing and relief printing. Casey pulls her inspiration from other forms of art including spoken word and photographs that she has taken. Mental health is another area that Casey pulls her inspiration from. In this series, all of the images depicted come from memories that bring Casey happiness and joys. This spring Casey will be graduating from Salem State University with a degree in Art with a minor in Education so that she may take the knowledge that she has learned and pass it on.

Jessica Martineau

Jessica Martineau

Certificate of Merit

For her unique and distinquished service to the Art + Design

Alumni Jessica Martineau (Class of 2001) has spent the year volunteering with our current students as a darkroom studio assistant. 

Jessica Martineau works with 35mm and medium format black and white film and uses the darkroom to print silver gelatin prints as well as hand coated emulsion. She graduated from Salem State in 2001 with a degree in photography and has been involved in the photography department consistently, including teaching photography for “Starting early at Salem State” for 10 years and as a TA in darkroom classes for the past 2 years. She is passionate about how using film and using film cameras is essential to developing a solid base for any type of photography as well as producing beautiful images. Her influences are primarily Diane Arbus and Robert Frank.